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Monday, August 8, 2011

Nadia Kazmi - Strange Song: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Nadia - Strange Song: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen
2011, Nadia Kazmi

Nadia Kazmi returns in 2011 with a tribute album featuring nine songs penned by Leonard Cohen.  The Canadian-born Brooklyn resident takes some non-traditional routes to some Cohen's most interesting material on Strange Song: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen.  Sometimes the results are downright intriguing.

Nadia opens in an angry and petulant mood, straining at the top of her vocal range on "Why Don't You".  Nadia sacrifices tone and precision for impact in a compelling performance that is musically imperfect but emotionally charged and artistic.  "I'm Your Man" captures the urgency and utter need of the original.  Nadia is a bit out of her element vocally, but gives it an honest try.  "Avalanche" balances off Nadia's somewhat blas√© vocal performance with an angry guitar that manages to capture the grit that she cannot.  Things get a bit muddled on "True Love Leaves No Traces", as Nadia's voce gets buried in the production and loses any sense of power or centricity to the song. 

Nadia breaks out and shines on "Ain't No Cure For Love", stripping things down and offering a simple arrangement that clings to her voice like lace.  Nadia keeps the vibe going on "Paper Thin Hotel", keeping things controlled and allowing her voice to shine in more comfortable musical territory.  It's hard not to note Cohen's songwriting here either, as it is nothing less than spell-binding.  Nadia closes with a pair of great songs, the competent rendition of "Came So Far For Beauty" and the standout "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye". 

Nadia starts off on the wrong foot on Strange Song: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen, trying to do too much and forgetting to be herself.  She settles in more and more as the album progresses, and manages to present some really fine renditions of some of Cohen's best material as she relaxes and let’s go of her pre-conceptions.  Stick with this one, its gets better as it goes along.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Nadia at or Song: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen is available from as a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes

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